The combined cognitive bias hypothesis in depression

Jonas Everaert*, Ernst H.W. Koster, Nazanin Derakshan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

223 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing from substantial evidence demonstrating cognitive biases in depression at various stages of information processing (i.e., attention, interpretation, memory, cognitive control), we argue for an approach that considers the interplay among these processes. This paper attempts to apply the combined cognitive bias hypothesis (Hirsch, Clark, & Mathews, 2006) to depression research and reviews competing theoretical frameworks that have guided research in this area. We draw on current findings from behavioral studies on the interplay between depression-related processing biases. These data indicate that various cognitive biases are associated. However, it is not clear whether single or multiple biases are most predictive of depressive symptoms. We conclude this article with theoretical and clinical implications of the current state of research in this field and propose a number of ways in which research on the combined cognitive bias hypothesis can be advanced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-424
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Cognitive control
  • Combined cognitive biases
  • Depression
  • Interpretation
  • Memory


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